Moorhen - Gallinula chloropus

In general the most common non-passerine bird of fresh water wetlands.

Of semi-cosmopolitan distribution, the Moorhen adapts even to very small wetlands areas, as long as it finds a minimum amount of riparian vegetation.

For this reason, it has a rather scattered distribution over the territory. Its looks and habits place the Moorhen between the Water Rail and the Coot.

Less shy than the former, but less gregarious and easy to see than the latter. It swims and walks indifferently, moving it short outer tail feathers in jerks, so displaying its white undertail.

Like almost all rails and crakes, there is no sexual dimorphism and the juveniles can be recognised by their duller plumage.

The nest may be built at various heights in the water plants or even on the water surface, carefully anchored to the semi-submerged plants. The chicks are nidifugous.

Not at all a quiet bird, it emits a rich repertory of short loud notes, which can sometimes surprise and disorient even the most assiduous visitor to the wetlands.

Except in the most northern regions, the European populations are usually resident.